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6 Out Of 10 Children Prescribed Opioids After Tonsillectomy

An analysis of insurance claims data found 60% of privately insured children undergoing tonsil removal received opioids, with the average prescription lasting from six to 10 days. “Our findings suggest that it may be possible to reduce opioid exposure among children who undergo this common surgery without increasing the risk of complications,” says lead author […]

Serotonin Levels May Clarify Unexplained Pain

A newly-discovered biological mechanism could explain heightened somatic awareness, in which people experience pain that has no physiological explanation. Patients with heightened somatic awareness often experience unexplained symptoms — headaches, sore joints, nausea, constipation, or itchy skin — that cause emotional distress, and are twice as likely to develop chronic pain. The condition, associated with […]

Antidepressants Can Lead To Reduced Responses To Pain Empathy

Antidepressant treatment can lead to impaired empathy regarding perception of pain, and not just the state of depression itself, according to a collaboration involving social neuroscientists, neuroimaging experts, and psychiatrists from the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna. Depression is a disorder that often comes along with strong impairments of social functioning. […]